Founded in February 2000, the Suffolk Disabled Angler’s Forum was set up by the Environment Agency and former Rethink Disability (now Optua) Leisure Project Manager to provide access to angling for people with disabilities. Discussions began in the second half of 1999 when both organisations set up a meeting with mainstream angling club officials to determine the interest and find out what was currently available. There was a lot of interest in the idea but, unfortunately, not a lot of access for anglers with disabilities, to change this money was needed. Initially money was sourced to improve access to existing fisheries and then money was raised to build suitable fishing platforms, purchase of toilets and safety equipment, this took time but it did get the ball rolling.
We are about to start our 17thseason and have a lot to look forward too, we’re proud of our achievements to date which, to be honest, has not always been easy and sometimes it’s been very hard. We knew what we’d taken on, we also knew that it would take time success comes with hard work, determination and team work, all of which we have. Over the years we have successfully sourced funding from numerous fund providers including, Awards for All, The Suffolk Foundation, The Local Network Fund the Environment Agency, Stowmarket Town Council, Lions Club of Stowmarket and District, EDF Energy, Activities Unlimited, Heart Radio and John Grose, some have supported on more than one occasion. We are of course very grateful for the support we have received from all of our fund providers and supporters.
In 2005 we helped the Gipping Valley Angling Club successfully apply for a grant totalling £30,000, this included £20,000 from the Big Lottery Fund (via Anglia TV’s Peoples Millions) and £10,000 from the Environment Agency. This grant was used to build a new fully accessible facility with two lakes, toilets, fish-stock, lifebuoys, platforms and turf reinforcing mesh, enabling vehicle access to fishing platforms.
We have also been able to support successful funding applications for the Gipping Angling Preservation Society, which was used to build a new accessible lake on their existing Alderson Lakes complex and the Hadleigh and District Angling Society, who also built a new facility with two lakes in Polsted.
Our quest will continue and I am sure that one day we will build another fully accessible facility, we are grateful to all of our supporters, especially the Environment Agency, Optua, Gipping Valley Angling Club (GVAC) the Gipping Angling Preservation Society (GAPS) and the Hadleigh and District Angling Society
On May 3rd 2011 the Charities Commission informed us that our application for registered charity status had been successfull, this was a great acheivement and one that will be well remembered. Registered Charity Number: 1141652
If you would like to join us and become registered volunteer and enjoy a day out helping others why not give us a call. Please find contact details under the contacts heading of this site.